We've been digging into poetry and have had loads of fun reading them.  After writing our own rhyming poems, we decided to give 2 other poetry forms a try.  The first one is a limerick.  Here is our class limerick poem:
Candy Shop
There once was a girl named Mandy.
And sometimes she ate too much candy.
It was a real treat,
To have something so sweet.
The candy store sure was handy!

The rules are as follows:  5 lines; lines 1, 2, and 5 all rhyme; lines 3 and 4 also rhyme.  They loved this!
Here is our class alphabet poem:
Our Class

Notice the rule?  You begin with any letter of the alphabet and create one word per line with the next letter.  Oh, and it needs to "tell a story" or make sense.  Fun times!

The President's

We've been learning about the Presidents and writing about them.  The kids learned a song and like to sing it rather loudly!  :)  You'll find the song in the post below.  Anyhow, here's the anchor chart I made for them:

The end of the song goes like this:  "Thank you God for our 43 presidents; it's for them we pray".  I hope you practice it at home!  Yes, the song will stick in your head, but that's a GOOD thing! 

President's Song

Here is our class singing the President's Song. The recording is not great, but it's the best we could do at this point!
Voice Recorder >>


The White House

We've been studying the White House and our Presidents.  The kiddos are researching some of our Presidents and we are reading about them together.  We took a trip through the White House courtesy of the Google Art Project.  Click  White House Tour  and you can go with us!  Once you are "in", you can zoom in on art and see the origin, name, and other facts.  The site also has multiple famous art museums.  Who needs vacations anymore?  Just kidding.  Enjoy!


Measurement and ME

Our class is taking a wonderfullly refreshing break from regular math.  I can still hear the cheers from the students.  We are embarking on a measurement journey and enjoying ourselves immensely!  On day one, students wandered about the room with their partner, a measuring worksheet, a ruler, and a pencil.  They had the freedom to measure anything they wanted except for the area around the teacher's desks (I had visions of computers flying, papers scattering, and general chaos!).  The students were fabulously behaved and their feedback was very positive.  Hands on activities are so neat, aren't they?

Anyhow, here are the anchor charts I created for our unit.  We refer to them every day!

Gallon Man is very effective.  We can easily tell how many cups are in a pint or quart, how many quarts are in a gallon, and we are even talking about how many pints are in a half gallon!  Thank you, Gallon Man!  I got this idea from Pinterest and simply tweaked it to fit our needs.

We are also memorizing this information!  Up next: metric measurement!  This topic has always confused me, so you can be sure an anchor chart will be made to help cement our knowledge!


St. Paul's Cathedral

We talked about church symbols in religion today, and I took the children on a field trip.  We went to St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England.  Oh, you're right, it wasn't a REAL field trip, just a virtual tour.  The children really enjoyed the spectacular moving images and different views from each part of the massive cathedral.  They noticed different details and all wanted to jump on a plane to actually tour this impressive structure.  All of them begged for the link, so here it is:  http://www.sphericalimages.com/stpauls/
If that doesn't work, here's the link to St. Paul's:  http://www.stpauls.co.uk/  Just click on "visits and events" and then "virtual tour". 
One hint:  you might get dizzy.  :)  You've been warned!  Enjoy!!!


Phonics Anchor Chart

I cannot tell a lie  - I love anchor charts.  No, I REALLY love anchor charts.  I am a visual person, and I think most kids like to see their learning on display as well.   Anchor charts also help me look good, because they remind me of what's what! 

It was actually fun (really?) to study vowel pairs, vowel digraphs, and diphthongs.  I'm not kidding!  I combed through their book to make this chart in order to put all of the information onto one chart.  We had this chart up for 2 weeks and referred to it during each lesson.  One day, we had to identify the long a sound in words and the kiddos were thrown for a loop when there were no vowel pair words.  I pointed to the chart and asked them which sound also makes the long a sound?  The lightbulbs went off in their little brains when they looked at the "ei" vowel digraph.  Gotta love those charts!!!!!  And bonus: they all performed excellently on their phonics test!  :)


Book Review

The 3rd grade class has had lots of fun learning about writing, specifically how to write a Book Review.    We took about two weeks and marched right through all of the steps.  The final products are ready for tomorrow's peer presentations.  I'm looking forward to that!  I think it will be the perfect activity after we come back from our ballpark field trip.  Imagine trying to accomplish a serious math lesson instead!

The steps are easy:  We chose a book, created a story map, answered specific questions for each of our 3 paragraphs, participated in a peer review, edited, and finally wrote our final draft complete with an illustration (or two).  Whew!  They gave their opinions, talked about what the character learned, and tried not to give away the ending. 

Here is the link for my free download: My Book Review

I melt for student artwork and here are a couple of examples from our final book review:

Leo the Lightning Bug - 3rd grade girl

Diary of a Wimpy Kid - 3rd grade boy

I Love You Blue Kangaroo - 3rd grade girl

Aren't they great?  I'm so proud of them!!!  We're planning on displaying them on our classroom bulletin board which is in the hallway outside of our room.  What's up next?  A Book Report of a non-fiction book!  Let the good times roll!



Yep, I'm bribing the 3rd grade.  I have taken over the class for the month of April.  I think it's ok, bribary that is, - I'm just calling it "rewarding for positive behavior".  :)  

A returning theme during our pursuasive writing unit was an intense desire for a root beer float (yum!).  I decided to use this knowledge to my advantage.  I bought a clear plastic jar and 2 packages of fuzzies at the dollar store (if you're counting, that's 3 bucks!).  I counted the number of student teaching days I have left and counted out enough fuzzies to fill my jar.  The kiddos need about 7 fuzzies per day to have our root beer float party. 

How do you get a fuzzy?  It's basically doing what you should be doing in the first place.  But to spell it out, the CLASS as a whole needs to do one of the following (most of these are available to them multiple times per day): 
1. work quietly during morning work
2. be ready for our lesson quickly (they know what that means on their desk)
3. listen and participate during our lesson
4. line up and walk quietly
5. come back to class quietly and ready to work
6. bathroom break is orderly
7. another teacher compliments the class!
I (or my CT) am impressed with you!

We started this today and the class was really excited.  My jar is on my desk (with only a few lonely fuzzies so far!) and the sign is by our whiteboard in the front of the room.  Fingers crossed!

I'm not looking for perfection, just a little incentive to keep everyone focused during the end of the year.  The class has 17 boys (and 6 girls) and a game of sorts will really help (I hope!).  I'll be so sad to leave them at the end of April!  We really are having such a grand time.....


Gotta love a prefix and suffix!!

I've been completely enjoying my time in 3rd grade.  The kids are a scream!  I've been making anchor charts for them because I'm a visual learner.  I like to see in print what I am learning.  So, I just assume these kids can also benefit - hence the love of anchor charts.  I'm literally obsessed with pinning them on my Pinterest account.  Anyhow, here's my recent anchor chart for our prefix and suffix lessons coming up:

As you can see, I sorta ran out of room with all those suffixes, but it's better in person.  It's just a teaching tool....basically so I don't have to keep writing these things on the board each and every day!  I know my Phonics chart made a real difference with the kiddos, and that's all the proof I need!  It was so handy to scaffold the information from lesson to lesson, and class to class.  Frankly, anchor charts make me feel smarter and also make me look good...Why?   Because all I have to do to remind myself of the answer is LOOK AT THE CHART!  It's all about making things easier for the teacher.  At least, that's what I'm discovering each and every day.

Video of my class